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Old 01-24-2017, 11:11 PM   #1
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Phenix City , Alabama
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Am I late to the party

Looking at the RV industry growth over the years and noticing more and more interest in rving I have to ask if I'm to late to the party? 2017 sales growth is expected to be at all time highs and this puts pressure on the entire industry as greed kicks into overdrive.

I would like to hear from some seasoned rvers what your thoughts are on the overcrowding and is it to late? I don't own a travel trailer and recently have been giving a lot of thought about a class b.
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:55 AM   #2
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GeO: We don't think it's ever too late. There are ever increasing numbers of people finding the RV lifestyle, however, you may actually benefit from this continued growth as a fair percentage buy one, get out and decide it's not for them, so the used market is increasing with units all the time as well.

The campgrounds are more and more crowded, if staying someplace "in season" we now almost always make reservations where years ago we would simply go. Others, who have been doing it as long as we have (45 years) continue to wing it and make few if any long term reservations but simply call the day of or a few days before and most often find a spot.

Go for it and enjoy.


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Old 01-25-2017, 05:52 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

Being late to a party is never a good reason to throttle back on the rest of one's life.

Full speed ahead!

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Old 01-25-2017, 05:56 AM   #4
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Yes, campgrounds are full all the time during the season. Even here in SW Missouri if we don't book months in advance to the local COE campgrounds on Table Rock Lake you won't get a spot unless there is a last minute cancelation. You have to remember the amount of people entering this lifestyle is at a higher rate than any new public campground developments which is basically nil. We don't find it that fun to stay in RV parks unless its a rally or just an overnight stay on the way to a national park.

Even some BLM boondocking areas are getting overwhelmed in places, not so much by recreational RVers but down and out and alternative lifestyles people living in vans and RVs.

RV resorts in Arizona and Florida are booked up solid over the winter months due to the yearly migrations from the north.

You just have to put up with it all and plan ahead.

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Old 01-25-2017, 07:02 AM   #5
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There are plenty of campgrounds with space in beautiful places. Fuel is cheap. Probably has never been a better time for RV ing. Figure out what you want to do and do not sweat such a silly idea.
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:05 AM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

No, it's not too late. We have been avid Airtreamers for the past eleven years. We have spent almost 1,800 nights out camping and have towed our Airstreams over 160,000 miles. This RV travel has been the best time of our lives. We have gotten to see the nooks and crannies of this great country. RVing may not be for everyone, but we love it.

We travel extensively and rarely have trouble getting a campsite. Holiday weekends are sometimes the difficult, but there is always a Wal-Mart or truck plaza parking lot. With a Class B, this is always an easy option.

My advice would be to go for it.

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Old 01-25-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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Am I late to the party

Population growth has put pressure on all aspects of life, not just for RV'ers, but housing, transportation, and infrastructure in the US and the world in general. With these problems come opportunities for new businesses to cater to the increased demands. One hopes the RV industry will realize that sales of new units is contingent on buyers' ability to enjoy them, and will take a more active role in facilitating new RV parks to help absorb the growth. These will probably be outside of existing state and national parks, so there will probably be increasing demand for spots inside the parks. However, there are many areas of the country, some not that far from national and state parks, that are not overpopulated and could be used for new RV sites. It may not be the same experience as staying inside a national park, but then being inside a crowded national park isn't the same as it used to be anyway, with or without an RV, and I suppose is an inevitable result of overpopulation.

With imagination and an open mind for alternatives, you should be able to enjoy the RV experience for many years to come. Just maybe not in the same way people did 50 years ago.
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Old 01-25-2017, 11:41 AM   #8
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And welcome!
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Old 01-25-2017, 11:49 AM   #9
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Yes and no - the RV parks needed cash flow during the down turn and out of work, retired, and low income folks needed cost effective housing. Consequently there are lots of permanent patrons at a lot of parks. The good news is that investors see opportunity and new RV parks are showing up too.

Cost is an issue. More pressure on nice lower cost than on pricey long in the tooth parks. There is pressure to prevent free parking at some Walmarts and similar commercial lots. More trucking competes with Traveling RVs for what space is available.

The good news is that it's not difficult to go another 50-100 miles down the road or stay a similar distance from your preferred destination until a better spot is available. And you can always give a spot a miss and come back later. Planning and flexibility work to make your adventure enjoyable.

The Class B is easy to park just about everywhere and is not a bad choice, if it is big enough for you. Good luck with your investigation. Knowledge helps a lot and looking is an adventure worth the effort.

Good Luck. Pat
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Old 01-25-2017, 11:53 AM   #10
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Right now, I'm sitting in a beautiful California desert park - public campground - on a warm day with a perfect view of the surrounding mountains and the campground is about 10% full. We do not stay in private parks very often so I don't have an opinion on that topic but can say that public campgrounds almost always have availability in the shoulder seasons and if you are willing to do a little planning in high season. We are full-time Airstreaming for about a year and were half-time Airstreamers for a few years before. Even in prime season in places like AZ, we have not had trouble finding great spots in public parks or in wild camping spots with a little planning.

So yes, campgrounds and parks in general are busier but there are still many places to visit that are not crowded. I don't think you are too late if you want to primarily visit public places and do so outside of the most popular times (like don't expect to get an amazing site for a large RV in Yosemite in June without extensive planning and some luck).
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:25 PM   #11
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Get you an RV and be aware that on event weekends and holiday weekends you will have to have reservations from 6 months to 2 years out.
You will also need reservations when planning trips top some of the more popular national parks.
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:47 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the very insightful comments and helping me expand my mind on this topic. My wife and I are looking forward to traveling around this great country.

May each of you have a fantastic day!
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:42 PM   #13
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GeO, a lot depends on the kind of camping you like to do, whether you are retired and can go any old time, or are restricted to weekends and a 2-week vacation; whether you like to rough it or stay in a resort-style place with luxuries. Have you always wanted to visit the major national parks? Do you have a special hobby (fishing, music festivals, cycling) that would be part of your RV experience? Would you enjoy an Airstream rally or tour, or do you have friends who RV?

We enjoy trips to the Back of Beyond, and have found that the Bureau of Land Management lands in the desert states have all kinds of places to camp where you won't see too many people. On the other hand, if we want to stay in a national park or resort-style RV park during the high season, we will book way ahead for a reservation, as we don't want to drive a long distance to find no room at the inn.

If you have particular destinations in mind and start a new thread asking for info and advice, people will generally chime in and be really helpful. Then older threads are archived and searchable, as well.

We don't like congestion, either, and last year actually left the Grand Canyon two nights early because we couldn't take the crowds. We found relief around Bluff, Utah, in an area now part of the new Bears Ears National Monument.

We're itching to head off on our next adventure.
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:48 PM   #14
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I would like to hear from some seasoned rvers what your thoughts are on the overcrowding and is it to late? I don't own a travel trailer and recently have been giving a lot of thought about a class b.
Yes all the parks are full and camping is awful. Forget it!

The biggest decision on Rving to me is selecting the right type for how you plan to use it- weekender, vacationer, snow-bird, full-time, etc.
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:53 PM   #15
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We just bought our AS and worried about where all these people were using the RVs that seemed to be more plentiful than cars on a car lot, especially when we heard of the number of units being sold by dealers. We have learned to travel outside seasons and/or booking ahead for those locations that know no season. This pertains to travel with our AS, or travel domestically or internationally. We spent 8 weeks in Europe last year in what can be described as the off season and it was comfortably crowded in tourist areas and very pleasant in areas not so often visited. We used to sail every weekend when we were younger but I refused to leave the marina Memorial Day weekend (that was in the 80s!). The world is getting more crowded and less seasonal, but that's no reason to stay home and miss the opportunity to travel and experience places and people. We have not had an issue with finding places to visit yet. People complained about Florida campgrounds being available in Winter and we just booked 3 nights in Ft Desoto. We also just booked 3 nights in Ft Pickens, but had to split them into 2 locations. Not a big deal. Enjoy the experience. Safe Travels
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ge0 View Post
Looking at the RV industry growth over the years and noticing more and more interest in rving I have to ask if I'm to late to the party? 2017 sales growth is expected to be at all time highs and this puts pressure on the entire industry as greed kicks into overdrive.

I would like to hear from some seasoned rvers what your thoughts are on the overcrowding and is it to late? I don't own a travel trailer and recently have been giving a lot of thought about a class b.
You will have more flexibility and options for camping in a Class B.

Still the crowding during high season, and weekends, but small can slip into a back in or tent site that are not options for larger rigs.

10 years, and 181,000 miles here, and still going strong.

Find a need and fill it.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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